Beaches of Big Island

Big Island features some of the most picturesque and varied beach landscapes in the Islands of Hawaii. Snorkeling and diving locations on the Big Island are plentiful. 

Hawaii Island also has many rugged, off-the-beaten-path sand beaches that are wild, remote and rewarding to visit.

Map of Hawaii Big Island

Explore Big Island by region: HiloHamakua CoastNorth KohalaKohala CoastKonaPunaKau.

Download Tour Map of Hawaii (Big Island)

Island Highlights

- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Home to Kilauea Volcano, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
- Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona): Lively, historic gathering place in the heart of Kona.
- Hilo: Home to botanical gardens, waterfalls and off-the-beaten-path local shops and restaurants.
- Waimea: Experience the cool uplands of paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) country.
- Holualoa: Visit coffee country and taste why 100% Kona coffee is so famous.

Hamakua Coast Beaches

Kolekole Beach Park

Kolekole Beach Park
The park is about 3 miles downstream from ʻAkaka Falls, with an additional waterfall on the Kaʻahakini stream that drops directly from a small cliff into the main Kolekole Stream. Truly a jungle garden by the ocean, a banyan tree leans over the river with a rope swing. 

Location: Twelve miles north of Hilo on the Hamakua Coast - Hwy 19.

Hilo Beaches

Onekahakaha Beach Park

Onekahakaha Beach Park
This is one of a few beaches in Hilo, that is a favorite of local families. Onekahakaha Beach Park is a great place for the keiki (kids) to take a swim that is very protected from the open ocean.

Location: To get to Onekahakaha Beach park take King Kamehameha Road past Banyan Drive to Kanoelehua Street, then continue on Kalaniana'ole Street, approximately 4 miles along coast. Turn makai (towards the beach). Park your vehicle, then follow the parking lot to the right.

Leleiwi Beach Park

Lelewi Beach Park
The shallow bay fronting Richardson Ocean Center is the most popular snorkeling site on the east side of the island. There is a small black-sand beach and the rocky shoreline is made up of a few natural ponds, inlets and small rock islets filled with abundent marine life

Location: Two miles south down Kalanianaole Avenue from Onekahakaha Beach.

Kau Beaches

Punaluu Black Sand Beach

Punaluu Black Sand Beach
This is Hawaii Island’s famous black sand beach and a excellent place to see the Hawaiian green sea turtles (honu) basking along the shore. Although swimming isn't ideal, there are picnic area and restroom facilities so you can have lunch while you experience the unique feeling of black volcanic sand between your toes. One unique feature of Punaluu is that the water is often slightly colder, and more exhilarating, than the average beach due to having freshwater springs in the area which bubble out of the ocean bottom near the shore. The fresh water then rises to the top since it is less dense than salt water, forming a thin layer of ultra-cool water atop the sea surface.

Location: 30 miles South of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Kohala Coast Beaches

Anaehoomalu Bay Beach

Anaehoomalu Beach
Anaeho'omalu Bay is a place of unparalleled beauty, tranquility and charm. Often referred to as A-Bay, located near the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort, is one of the best looking beaches in the Waikoloa area, featuring an amazing long white-sand beach, fish ponds and a large grove of coconut palms. Anaeho'omalu is protected by an offshore reef and the beach is popular for a variety of ocean sports, including swimming, snorkeling, windsurfing, scuba diving and surfing—there are not much waves for boogie boarding and surfing.

Location: To reach A-Bay, turn off Highway 19 toward the ocean at Waikoloa Beach Drive.

Hapuna Beach

Hapuna Beach
This half-mile-long crescent of gently sloping golden sand is surrounded by a beautifully landscaped park and coconut palms. Located between two exclusive resorts, Mauna Kea Beach Resort and Mauna Lani Resort on the Kohala coastline. During the summer months the beach is about 200 feet wide and the clear blue water is excellent for swimming bodyboarding, bodysurfing, snorkeling, surfing, swimming, sunbathing. There is ample parking with restroom and picnic facilities.

Location: Old Puako RoadWaimea—from Kona, take Highway 19 north. Make a left turn at the access road just before Mile Marker #69. Drive to the end of the road, make a left turn and then take an immediate right.

Holoholokai Beach Park

Holoholokai Beach
This small beach park with full facilities near the Fairmont Orchid Hawaii it is not a prestine sandy beach, however it is a place of beauty to explore tide pools and snorkel. Take a walk through prehistoric Hawaii, told in the words of ancient art at the nearby Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve, where you will find hundreds of ancient carvings in the lava rock.

Location: Holoholokai Beach Park RdWaimea—from Kona take Highway 19 north. Between Mile Markers #73 and 74, turn left into the resort area. Then turn right at the first major intersection. Bear left at the "Y" in the road. Then take the next right and follow the road to the end. Parking is available.

Kaunaoa Beach

Kaunaoa Beach Park
This near-perfect crescent of sand along the Kohala Coast is only about one-fourth of a mile, the beach has two coral reefs and generally very calm waters. Kaunaoa Beach has been voted among the Top 10 beaches in the United States by Conde Nast’s Traveler magazine. Two other smaller beaches can be accessed from Kaunaoa Beach by walking for about 1.5 miles north of Kauna'oa—Wai'ula'ula Beach and Mau'umae Beach, both are two small pockets of white sand.

Location: Mauna Kea Beach DrKamuela—from Kona, take Highway 19 north. Make a left turn at Mile Marker #68. Follow the road to the end.

Kona Beaches

Kahaluu Beach

Kahaluu Beach
Kahaluu Beach Park is a tiny sheltered cove on the west side of the Big Island right down town of Kailua Kona. The beach is one of the best snorkeling spots on the Big Island, more than 100 different species of fish can be observed here. The cove is ideal for swimming and snorkelers as the water is almost always calm.

Location: 78 6699 Alii DrKailua-Kona—from Kailua-Kona, head south on Alii Drive for about 4.5 miles. 

Laalao Beach Park

Laʻaloa Beach County Park
Laʻaloa Bay is a popular recreation area in Kailua-Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi and is also known as "Magic Sands" or "White Sands Beach" or "Disappearing Sands"The body boarding and surfing conditions are often times great, so when the surf is up you’ll see many surfers in the water. A very interesting natural phenomenon occurs here in Winter, the shorebreak erodes the small pocket of white-sand beach very quickly, often times within 24 hours, washing away all the white sand and leaving just exposed lava rock.

Location: Alii DrKailua-Kona—just north of mile marker 4 on Alii Drive.

North Kohala Beaches

Samuel Spencer Beach Park

Samuel Spencer Beach Park
Just south of Kawaihae Harbor on the Big Island's northwestern coast, Samuel Spencer Beach Park offers excellent swimming and snorkeling conditions and is also one of the Big Island’s best beach parks for camping. The park is also ideal for weekend picnics with adequate facilities, including a large picnic pavilion complete with tables and electrical outlets. 

Location: Spencer Beach Park Rd, Waikoloa—from Waikoloa Village, take Highway 19 north to Highway 270. Continue onto 270. Make a left turn at the access road between mile markers 2 and 3. There is a parking area at the north and south ends of the beach.

Popular Big Island Activities

Big Island Sunset Dinner Cruises Hawaii Big Island Sports Fishing Hawaii Big Island Golf Courses Hawaii Big Island Horseback Riding Hawaii Big Island Kayaking Adventure Hawaii Big Island Scuba Snuba Hawaii Big Island Surfing Hawaii Big Island Zipline Hawaii
Dinner Cruises Fishing Charters Golf Horseback Riding Kayaking Scuba & Snuba Surfing Zipline

Big Island Adventure Tours

Big Island ATV Tours Hawaii Big Island Dolphin Watching Tours Hawaii Big Island Eco Tours Hawaii Big Island Helicopter Tours Hawaii Big Island Land Tours Hawaii Big Island Sightseeing Tours Hawaii Big Island Volcano Tours Hawaii Big Island Whale Watching Tours Hawaii
ATV Tours Dolphin Tours Eco Tours Helicopter Tours Land Tours Sightseeing Volcano Tours Whale Watching

Memberships and Certification

 Hawaii Tourism Authority

Certified Hawaii Tourism Authority 'Destination Expert'.

A member of Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau and the Hawaii Tourism Authority. 

 Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau

Acknowledgements & Credits


Leave your comment

Hawaii discount sunset dinner cruises
Hawaii discount culture events
Hawaii discount tours

Island Guides: Tips & Fun Things To Do